The kids have a new board game obsession: The Game of Life. Whoa, have you played it recently? It’s changed a ton since we were little. I just bought it for the kids over the summer when we’d played every other board game a hundred million times. It was my absolute favorite game growing up so I was super excited they wanted it, too.
I didn’t remember what I loved so much about it until I finally set it up. The little cars! The little stick figures – the babies! Oh yes, I then remembered driving them all over the board game. I loved how my little car was just full of pink and blue. I never ended the game rich, but I always had a whole lot of kids.
But now that I’m playing it as an adult, I’m starting to think the Game of Life is more accurate than a Ouija board. And it’s kind of scaring me a little. I mean, it did predict the vanload of kids for me, and it’s not looking like I’m going to win the lottery anytime soon. If it was so accurate in predicting my future when I played it as a kid, what’s it mean for me now?
I think it means I’m screwed.
I’m usually the banker when we’re playing – most stressful job ever! – and about halfway through the game, I can’t remember what career each kid chose. I have no clue what they’re supposed to be making – they always have to remind me – and I never can remember when their last pay raise was. I just start throwing $100,000 bills at them and hope it’s right. I think they’re taking notes now and realizing that if they just confuse me a little, they can get pretty much anything they want.
I also don’t know what color van they’re driving or how many kids they have.
When we decided to have four kids, I never really thought through the fact that I’d have to actually keep up with them forever. Right now I’m freaking out over managing homework assignments for four, but how will I make small talk at cocktail parties when I’m 65 if I don’t know what numbers 3 and 4 do for a living? Who knows how many kids my four will spawn – how am I going to keep all of the grandkids’ faces straight?
I have this vision of one of my kids pulling into my driveway in 20 years and me just staring at him or her with a blank “which one are you?” look.
That should be the least of my worries, though. I’m most worried about my kids’ decisions in this Game of Life.
My daughter’s biggest goal each game is landing on “Ultimate Idol” and collecting $100,000. That’s a little doubtful considering she won’t stick with guitar long enough to learn more than one song, but I guess I need to support her dreams. I kind of wanted her to jump right into college, but she’s realized winning “Ultimate Idol” or finding a buried treasure is a lot more lucrative and way easier.
Kid #2 pretty much only cares about choosing the doctor career card and making the most money. He’s a greedy (albeit smart) little thing – racking up hundreds of thousands but living in a mobile home and refusing to spend more money for something better. Guess I won’t be visiting him at Thanksgiving, but I will make sure to call him when I can’t afford the retirement home of my dreams.
Kid #3 has to ask big brother what career he should choose – so typical. Then he storms off crying and refuses to play when big brother sues him for $100,000. Let’s hope those two never go into business together.
Number 4 can’t officially play yet, but the last time I checked he was swiping the vans and throwing the little stick-figure babies out.
Do you see why I’m scared?
The most ironic part is that when I play with the kids, I almost never land on a baby space, which means the hubby and I are driving an empty van around town footloose and fancy-free with no reason to pay up when I land on the kids’ sports camps or medical bills spaces. It’s kind of nice to exist in that twilight zone for an hour or so.
So we’ll see how this Game of Life plays out for us, and just how accurate it really is for this generation. I’m not taking any chances, though – I’m totally making name tags at future family dinners, and I’m giving kid #2 a little extra love now because he’s obviously going to have the means to take care of me when I’m old.
What does playing board games reveal about your kids?